The Campbell River Ravens didn’t make it easy for themselves in the third period against the Nanaimo Timbermen Tuesday night but still earned the comeback victory.
Tuesday night’s junior lacrosse match at Strathcona Gardens was a make-up game from one that was supposed to happen on May 28. It first looked to be a defensive contest, with little offence in the first period. Campbell River led 2-1 at the break, while the teams exchanged leads once the play opened up in the second.
Going into the second intermission, the teams were tied at 9-9, but when they came out in the third, the Ravens, as a unit, experienced a defensive meltdown, giving up three goals inside the first two minutes.
With the score suddenly 12-9 for the visitors, the Ravens called a timeout and slowly began to regroup. As the final frame played out, they nudged their way back into the game, eventually holding most of the possession in the waning moments.
It wasn’t easy or quick though. Almost four minutes into the third, Dylan Christensen, who’d opened the scoring for Campbell River, found space at the side of the net to sneak one in, cutting the deficit to two.
The Ravens persisted and found the back of the net again just past the midway point of the third when Jeremy Gushe converted a pass from Kyle Robertson on the power play.
Shortly after, the Ravens found themselves on a five-on-three power-play, with several chances to tie the game, trying to cross passes over to the left wing for short shots a number of times, but they could not find any cracks in the wall.
A two-man advantage that ended goalless could’ve spelled the end of their night, but the Ravens managed to hold on to the ball, working it around the perimeter on offence. Finally, with 2:53 left, Rylan Fisher set up Heydon Campbell with a pass, and Campbell cut to the net, going low with a shot that knotted the score at 12-12.
At the 1:28 mark, Fisher broke to the side of Nanaimo defenders to deliver a long, low blast that gave the home side its decisive goal. Nanaimo called a timeout in the last minute, but once Campbell River got the ball back, they were able to run out the remaining seconds on the clock. It was a hard-earned win, though not always pretty.
The Ravens’ next game is at home at Strathcona Gardens on Sunday, June 9, when they host the Saanich Express. Game time is 3 p.m.